Friday, October 12, 2012

Small Business Tip - What About Using a Virtual Assistant?

One of the most advantageous aspects of using a virtual assistant is the ability to employ industry experts for the completion of certain tasks. This becomes beneficial in situations where a small business is faced with a complex problem which is beyond the expertise of the in-house employees. Using a virtual assistant gives the small business the opportunity to outsource the task of solving the problem to a highly qualified candidate. Plus, many small business owners find that the virtual assistant’s service fee ends up being significantly less than what it would have cost them to solve the problem with their in-house staff. The amount of time it would have taken coupled with the potential for costly mistakes makes it clear using a virtual assistant is the right decision in this scenario.

Another scenario where tasks may be outsourced to an industry expert is when the small business is faced with the task of performing more work than they are capable of handling in-house. During aggressive deadlines or unexpected delays, using a virtual assistant can be used to complete projects according to unyielding deadlines.

Flexibility in Scheduling

Many small businesses balance the workload they take on based on the number of employees they have on staff capable of assisting in each individual task. However, using a virtual assistant gives small businesses the ability to consider accepting more work than their in-house employees are capable of completing. An example of when this is beneficial is when consultants are awarded more projects than they had anticipated and are suddenly in a situation where they are not able to meet their deadlines due to larger than anticipated workloads.

Another advantage to using a virtual assistant is the ability to take on larger projects than usual. One of the most elementary factors often considered when awarding projects to consultants is the number of staff members who are available to work on the project. Clients evaluate this number with their project needs and schedule to determine whether or not they think the consultant is capable of completing the project on time. Consultants who outsource portions of their projects are effectively able to increase the amount of employees they can afford to have working on a particular project.

Reduced Operating Costs

Finally, using a virtual assistant can help companies to produce higher quality work by enabling them to reduce their operating costs. Using a virtual assistant can save companies a great deal of money because they often do not have to pay benefits such as social security, workers’ compensation and Medicare to those who perform work on a contract basis. Additionally, those who perform the outsourced work typically do the work from their own office meaning the company does not have to provide resources for the individual. Although these costs may seem trivial, they can really add up especially if using a virtual assistant is used on a regular basis.

Combined with the reduced operating costs, many companies find that productivity is increased through using a virtual assistant. By using a virtual assistant the in-house employees are freed of additional responsibilities and can focus exclusively on the tasks they were hired to perform. This is significant because without using a virtual assistant these same employees might be tasked with attempting to perform complicated tasks for which they are not properly trained or qualified. When this happens there is a significant decline in productivity as the employees take longer than necessary to complete the more complicated tasks and do not have time to complete the simpler tasks.

Do you have experience using a virtual assistant?  Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments.

Thanks for reading!  Until next time...